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West’s Lewis seeks to build confidence for students in math

MCHS Jackie Lewis


Just this year, Jackie Lewis, algebra teacher at West Campus, started returning tests to students without a grade. The idea is if students see the grade right away, they may not look through the rest of the test.

She’s also having students fill out a self-reflection form to help them spot areas where they need to work. The hope is that those things help students make connections with what they are learning, she said.

“My goal is to boost their self-esteem and confidence with math,” she said.

Her efforts to pass along her own love of math has been noticed by students and other school leaders. Several students nominated her for the February Staff Member of the Month award that she received shortly after school buildings closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Her students noted her willingness to go above and beyond to help them learn math. 

“Something I really appreciate about her is that she doesn’t judge us because of our grades,” said Melanie Mella, freshman at West Campus.

Added Maddie Mickllnghoff, also a West freshman, “She never gives up on her students.”

Lewis, who is in her second year teaching at West Campus, said she was surprised and honored by the award. A Huntley High School graduate, Lewis taught 8th-grade algebra for several years at Bernotas Middle School in Crystal Lake before coming to McHenry.

“I always knew I wanted to come to high school,” Lewis said. “I love the age.”

Lewis has a bachelor’s degree in middle-level education plus an endorsement for 9th-grade teaching. She’s planning to pursue a master’s degree soon.

Lewis said she enjoys math because it is like solving a puzzle. 

“I’ve always loved, loved math.” she said. ‘I kind of wanted to pass on my passion for it.”

This is the first year for the Staff Member of the Month program in McHenry. Each month, a staff member from each campus is selected from recommendations of other staff, students, parents and community members.

Staff members receive a gift card from either Brunch Cafe or Meat and Potato Eatery. MCHS appreciates the support from sponsors.

Learn more about the program here. To make a nomination, click here

Staff Member of the Month